We want to show you that although adoption of older children has it's challenges, when families are prepared and offered resources, these children can thrive. The following story is from a Caroline's Promise family that has experienced the trials and joys of adoption.
"With all of my children - the boys were from Russia adopted in 2003 and the girls from Kazakhstan in 2005 - there were different issues especially during the first year. As with all kids, their adjustment periods were different lengths; but it probably took between six months to a year to work out most of the issues. Their actual adjustment processes were also different.
Matthew who was 6 1/2 at the time of his adoption had some of the same behaviors as the little boy in the news. He bit me several times, he hit, and if I recall correctly it seems like he spit some. Some of these issues, in my opinion, are the result of not being able to communicate. Six months after being in a new country he had lost his language of origin but had not yet grasped English so he was more frustrated than ever over not being able to communicate.
Nathan was 2 1/2 years old at the time of the adoption. He was scared of men and it took him about four months before he would let my husband near him. The Russian officials tried to talk us out of adopting our boys because of Nathan's health issues (he had a cleft palate). They offered us a "healthy boy and girl" but we decided we wanted to do what we could for him even before we knew it was just a cleft palate. The boys are currently the sweetest, most affectionate and tender hearted kids in the world. They probably don't qualify as typical boys yet because they are still a little behind in academics.
My girls, Sarah was 8 1/2 when we adopted her and she went through a period where she had meltdowns and had a few physical tendencies toward other children but that stopped within the first year. Anna was 5 1/2 when we adopted her and was not fully potty trained and had high lead levels that took two years to come down. She is very bright but doesn't show it and was physical toward other children for probably about two years.
All my children now are well adjusted and we get compliments in restaurants, at church and other places on how well behaved they are. I think readers need to know that yes, children (especially ones not adopted as infants) do come with various issues/baggage. However, by far, the vast majority of children are well adjusted and the families wouldn't trade their children for anything in the world. These kids are not "damaged goods"; they have just had a rotten hand dealt to them. In all international adoptions there is the probability that you will have more issues than you know of. Potential adoptive parents need to be informed about possible issues but they can NOT expect the social worker that completes the home study, the adoption agency, or the orphanage workers to tell them everything they might need to know. I researched for months and months before we started the process. Even with all that we have dealt with, I would go back and adopt in a heartbeat again."
If you represent a family struggling with an adoption please contact us and we will find you the help you need to make your adoption a story of success, for you and your child.